Cotabato City - This week the Institute for Autonomy and Governance (IAG) conducted the third installment of its training with existing and emerging political parties and movements in the Bangsamoro. The training on “Registration of Political Parties” involved election experts such as former COMELEC Commissioner Atty. Luie Tito Guia and Regional Election Director (RED) of the Bangsamoro Electoral Office (BEO) Atty. Ray Sumalipao. Some highlights of the discussion:

  • BEO RED Atty. Sumalipao shared the functions of the BEO in relation to the recently issued COMELEC Resolution 10860 transforming the ARMM-REDO to BEO. He also shared the procedures for party registration in the absence of a Bangsamoro Electoral Code, which is still pending to be passed by the Bangsamoro Transition Authority.
  • He also shared the formation and composition of the Bangsamoro Registration & Accreditation Committee (BRAC) which will be composed of BEO RED as Presiding Officer, the Assistant RED, and the Provincial Election Supervisor of the province of Maguindanao.
  • Both Atty. Sumalipao and Atty Guia went over the process for filing the petition for registration as well as the contents of the petition and the needed attachments that interested political parties or movements need to secure in order for their petition to avoid getting denied by the COMELEC.
  • The discussions also surfaced lingering issues in the challenges that confront not only the region but also political parties that wish to successfully compete in upcoming parliamentary elections. The party leaders were also able to interact with the BEO RED and election lawyers, asking them specifically on the requirements in writing the petition such as proving that parties have regional constituency, having a program of government (a platform), and presence in terms of having headquarters or chapter offices, to name a few.
  • Political parties may submit or file their petition of registration at the BEO satellite offices (Zamboanga City, Marawi City, Cotabato City) based in the Bangsamoro but were advised to make sure that required documents are complete to prevent their petition from getting denied.
  • COMELEC currently has a study group the looks at the procedure for party registration and accreditation. Both speakers emphasized that since there is yet a Bangsamoro Electoral Code to be passed, the requirements for party registration and accreditation will follow national laws.

 

At least 10 existing and emerging political parties and movements are involved in the training series on party-building and organizing in the Bangsamoro project implemented by IAG and Westminster Foundation for Democracy, with support from the Government of United Kingdom.

 

Three more trainings on political campaigning, internal party discipline, and fundraising are in the pipeline. These are complemented by mentoring opportunities for interested political groups. Some of the experts involved in the training and discussions include election lawyers, policy experts, BTA, COMELEC, international experts on party-based parliamentary elections, and existing political parties in the country. The trainings also include groups in Marawi City and Basilan through remote and simultaneous activities via Zoom.